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A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life, and Society by John H. Miller

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From Scarecrows to Slime Molds: Molecular Intelligence

If you only had brains in your head you would be as good a man as any of them, and a better man than some of them. Brains are the only things worth having in this world, no matter whether one is a crow or a man.

—L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Brains are overrated, generally by those who have them. Think (we didn’t say brains weren’t useful, they’re just overrated) about all of the entities in the world that have to make good decisions with nary a neuron to be had. To take one example, each neutrophil granulocyte (a type of white blood cell, which you may have encountered in the form of pus emerging from a wound) in your body is capable of moving to sites of infection based ...

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